As much as many people love to visit museums, some of the people really don't find museums much appealing. However, The Cancún Underwater Museum which is also known as MUSA is a non-profit organization originating from Cancún, Mexico dedicated to the art of conservation in a unique way.
The museum consists of around 500 sculptures, majority of them are by the British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor who is not just a spectacular sculptor but also an underwater photographer, a scuba diving instructor and conservationist. The rest of the sculptures are created by five Mexican sculptors, with three galleries submerged deep in the ocean at the Cancún National Marine Park. These works of art stimulate & help in the growth of coral reefs, the variety of species of marine life and for tourists to enjoy while diving.
The idea of the museum was created by Marine Park Director Jaime Gonzalez Canto and Jason deCaires Taylor, with the prime aim to save the local coral reefs by giving them an alternative abode for the divers. These life-size figures have been created from a special marine friendly material which is pH-neutral clay. One of the most intriguing parts of these figures is that their entire appearance is prone to change with time as they have been constructed in a manner where artificial reefs & corals can grow on them. The sculptures, therefore, help in preserving the natural reefs & corals for a long time. Some of the most important sculptures are the Last Supper and The Silent Revolution which depicts the transformation of the Mayan Age.
Written by Ayusshi
It first was started in 2009 and officially established in November 2010. This project had the goal to create an artificial reef with the objective of helping the marine life restoration in the Cancun & Isla Mujeres area. The Cancun Underwater Museum has only 10 metres of depth which enables it to be a safe and perfect dive for beginners as well as the certified divers and also shallow enough to have an amazing snorkeling experience. Around the shoreside Visitor’s Centre, the information on the Cancún Underwater Museum’s history & design along with the conservation efforts as well as background information on the artists & underwater art installations can be found. A collection of dry-land sculpture replicas at the Visitor’s Centre, as well as an artist workshop along with a sculpture garden is open for visitors' exploration.
The Glass-bottom boat tours are one of the most interesting elements of this underground museum that is appropriate for all ages. The Glass-bottom boat has the ability to provide views over the museum’s sculpture galleries and diverse marine life. Near the comparatively shallower Punta Nizuc gallery of the Underwater Museum, several sculptures can be seen that blend human forms with marine life such as Reclamation, Threshold, and the Ocean Muse. Moreover, in the Salon Manchones, underwater art installations such as sculpted car and an Urban Reef House to sculpted bombs and mines are beautifully exhibited. Talking about the history of the Cancún Underwater Museum, it was designed in response to the continuous damage that the natural coral reefs and marine life ecosystems were undergoing. All statues within the underwater museum are cleaned before being positioned underwater to ensure no chemicals have come into contact with the ocean.
All images by Andy Blackledge via Wiki Commons